This started as a Western Pennsylvanian farm recipe that was handed down to me by word of mouth. I’m posting this "updated" recipe for the first time and it's as per my own taste. Have fun with this one and feel free to add or switch out blackberries, raspberries or no berries at all. It’s all good because with this recipe, it’s all about the custard. Enjoy! DR
6 medium/large eggs
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 cap-fulls of Vanilla (to your taste)
1 -2 tsp of cinnamon (to your taste)
1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups whole milk
White or wheat bread slices (about 5-6). Or whatever bread you choose. Stale bread is perfect for this recipe.
2 healthy hand-fulls of fresh, ripe blueberries
Whipped/soft butter & cinnamon-sugar at the end
-Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
-In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Next, whisk in a cup of milk and set aside.
-Using a large kitchen knife so as to not squish the bread, cut the white bread slices into fancy square-like shapes about 1 ½” or something to that effect (be creative but set some of the crusts aside).
-Spray a 9” x 9” square pan with cooking spray and add a layer of bread to the bottom, filling it with the various shapes like a puzzle. Taking the egg custard mixture, cover the bottom with custard and place blueberries in between the pieces of bread (I like to keep some of the berries whole and squish open some of the others because the purple makes it pretty). Add a second layer of bread square shapes and repeat with the custard and blueberries. Be sure to conserve the custard mixture as you pour.
***Important, if it looks like you’re running low on custard, add the other ¼” or ½” cup milk to the custard mixture and whisk in. You can add even more if need-be, it’s okay if it’s “milky.”
-Add a third layer of bread square shapes and repeat with the custard and blueberries. Add the crusts around the edges as a sort of well, a sort of crust. Be sure that all the bread has soaked up the custard mixture but be aware that it shouldn't be over-flowing.
-Bake for 40-50 minutes uncovered, checking with a toothpick. When toothpick is clean, remove and brush with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and place back into in the oven. Turn OFF the oven and keep it in for 30 minutes longer or until you just can't stand it anymore.
-When the pudding has a nice firm “bounce” to the touch, it's done. For me, if the pudding is done, I usually don’t wait. I have a serving right out of the oven, but this is also delicious cold or room temperature.
-Serve with cream, half & half or vanilla bean ice cream, enjoy!
(Serves 9 if others in the room are luck enough to get some).